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What is a Trigger Event for ADA Upgrades?

What is a Trigger Event for ADA Upgrades?

22 March 2022 By Admin

Are you a business or property owner who is intending to remodel your property? Maybe you are thinking about expanding your business, or maybe you are getting a unit prepared for new tennants. It is important for you to know that these situations are both a trigger event that would require any new construction or alterations to meet with the Title III ADA guidelines. The requirements are complex and leave little room for error therefore we would recommend working with a contractor like Protrk Construction who are experienced in working with ADA concrete and meeting the necessary requirements for not just ADA laws, but also California Building Code.

Creating a Path of Travel

One of the key elements that needs to be considered during your renovations is creating an ADA compliant ‘Path of Travel’. This is outlined both in the Federal ADA guidance and in California Building Code requirements.

An interior path of travel will require you to upgrade or replace things like doors and their hardware, ADA signage, restrooms, and drinking fountains among others. An exterior path of travel will include an’off-site’ path connecting to a public sidewalk, ADA compliant disabled parking provision, curb ramps, striping, accessible routes, and the appropriate ADA signage. A contractor who is experienced in ADA concrete work will be able to help you to plan and implement this path of travel in order to meet the necessary requirements.

Cost of ADA Upgrades

One of the things that often discourages business owners from addressing ADA compliance issues is the misconception that it is going to be extremely expensive. However, while there is a significant financial outlay, when compared to the potential fines if a lawsuit is filed against you it is well worth making the investment. ADA compliance is not optional and if you ignore it sooner or later you will find yourself facing a Federal Human Rights Lawsuit.

It is also important to note that the cost of making the necessary alterations for ADA compliance is something that is taken into consideration. In California, the additional cost you are expected to spend over and above standard construction costs is a minimum of 20%, assuming that figure is below the cost threshold which as of January 2022 is $186,172. If the costs exceed 20% of the construction costs it could be determined ‘disporoportionate costs’ and you may be able to give priority to the most urgent items.

PRO TIP - When calculating ‘building costs’ this does not include permit fees.

Priority of Upgrades

When you work with an experienced ADA concrete contractor, they will be able to help you determine the priorities in terms of carrying out ADA compliant upgrades. The ‘Path of Travel’ elements must be completed regardless of cost. The priority of other elements that may need upgrade would usually be as follows:

  • An Accessible Entrance
  • An Accessible Route to the Remodeled Area
  • A Minimum of One Accessible Restroom for Each Gender OR a Single Unisex Restroom
  • Accessible Telephones (if applicable)
  • Accessible Drinking Fountains (if applicable)
  • Additional Elements Including Parking & Storage

Not all upgrades and remodeling will trigger ADA upgrades. Some of the projects that are not considered triggers are heating repairs, ventilation & air conditioning, roofing work, electrical work (except accessible placement of switches and outlets), cosmetic work such as painting, a non-structural elements.

If you are preparing to make some changes to your property and have concerns that it will trigger ADA requirements, the best course of action is to work with a contractor who is experienced in ADA concrete and other elements of ADA construction. There is very little margin for error when it comes to the ADA so you will want to have someone on your side that knows these guidelines inside and out. That someone is Protrk Construction.


Design | Build | Certified

Why Wait to be "Forced" into ADA Compliance. If you are a public business or public property owner, save money, lawsuits, time and headaches by being prepared and avoiding it all in the first place. It’s time to call in the ADA pros. Use Protrk, an ADA construction expert, to Get it Done Right Prior to Forced Compliance. 

Call 415-813-9877 today or visit www.protrkconstruction.com for more details.


Being involved in ADA design and construction has given me the opportunity to help a lot of business owners and commercial property owners prevent costly ADA compliant lawsuits.

Mike Schaeffer

Owner & Founder Protrk®


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  • Step 1 - Third Party CASp Report
  • Step 2 - "As-Built" Drawings
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  • Step 4 - Construction Documents & Permits
  • Step 5 - ADA Build Out
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